Though the updated version of the current BMW 5-series was just revealed last week, the all new model is due to arrive by late 2009 for the 2010 model year. Test-mules have already been caught by spy photographers in Munich resembling the current model, but with pumped fenders to accommodate a wider track and new body panels housing an extended wheelbase. This latest rendering by external design company Schulte-Design is based on the 3-series Coupe shows that the new ‘5’ will follow the same design direction. Styling of the current generation has been criticized as being too busy, and sources from Europe claim the next model is expected to have a more conservative look overall but still retain its sporty and aggressive appearance. The length of the front overhangs will be shortened to meet the latest European pedestrian safety standards, while the headlights will feature sharper angles and include LED highlights.

Most of the planned changes are skin-deep. Under the new sheet metal, BMW will continue with its new found love of turbocharging. A new 4.4L twin-turbo V8 is expected to appear in a range topping model, while more turbo-diesel variants are expected to join the lineup as well. BMW is currently developing its second generation common rail system for its diesel powerplants, which operate at greater pressure for improved performance. The transmission systems will include a six-speed manual and a six-speed Steptronic semi-auto gearbox. Coming in towards the end of 2010 will be the next-generation M5 sporting a larger displacement 5.5L V10 with around 535hp on tap.

Performance will also be improved thanks to the extensive use of lightweight materials including carbon-fiber and aluminum. The car’s construction will be a hybrid of an aluminum spaceframe for the front section, and a traditional steel monocoque for the passenger compartment and rear. This will ensure a favorable front-to-rear weight distribution and improved handling. Up front will be an independent suspension with MacPherson struts, with a multi-link layout for the rear. High-performance models will include carbon-fiber body panels to shed even more weight.

Inside, the car will have a more spacious interior, especially for rear-seat passengers, while the centre console will be oriented more towards the driver and run an updated version of iDrive. Headroom will be similar to the current model, despite a shorter roof for the new car, while trunk volume will grow to 550L. Wheel sizes will range from 17, 18 and 19in, and a new electrohydraulic brake system will also be added, which will improve braking distances and stability.